Publications des agents du Cirad


Proposition of an index of intensity of grass use

Taugourdeau S., Huguenin-Elie O., Plantureux S., Michel N., Dumont B.. 2013. In : A. Helgadottir (ed.), A. Hopkins (ed.). The Role of Grasslands in a Green Future. Threats and Perspectives in Less Favoured Areas: Proceedings of the 17th Symposium of the European Grassland Federation. Akureyri, Iceland 23-26 june 2013. Reykjavik : European Grassland Federation; Agricultural University of Iceland, p. 397-399. (Grassland science in Europe, 18). Symposium of the European Grassland Federation. 17, 2013-06-23/2013-06-26, Akureyri (Islande).

A. The widely used concept of intensity of grassland management can be defined according to the fertilization level and defoliation frequency for mown meadows or to the stocking rate for pastures. Many questions arise for comparing situations over a large gradient of pedo-climatic conditions, or grazing, mowing and mixed grass utilizations. We therefore propose an index of intensity of grassland management, combining grazing and mowing, and considering regional differences in biomass productivity. A model predicting the percentage of grass eaten by the animals as a function of the stocking rate was developed based on field measurements. The index can sum this percentage of grass defoliated by grazing to that defoliated by cutting, considering that one cut defoliates 100% of the vegetation. Regional differences in biomass productivity are taken into account by dividing the sum of defoliations by the biomass productivity of grassland at the regional level, which is estimated from remote sensing images. This index could be used to roughly estimate management intensity when field measurements are not available and a large range of situations have to be compared.

Documents associés

Communication de congrès

Agents Cirad, auteurs de cette publication :